Press Release

At Gillibrand’s Urging, SUNY Delhi Awarded $200,000 In Federal Funding To Support Wastewater Improvement Project

Sep 19, 2014

Washington, D.C. – At U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand’s urging, SUNY Delhi will receive $200,000 in federal funding for phase 2 of the Center of Excellence of the Watershed Applications of Technology for Economic Revitalization (COE in WATER) project. The funding is allocated by the Appalachian Regional Commission (ARC) and is expected to expand two major businesses, create 70 new jobs and retain more than 230 jobs.

Senator Gillibrand has long advocated for this critical project for the region. In August 2011, Senator Gillibrand hosted an economic development roundtable with federal co-chair of the ARC Earl F. Gohl, and local business and community leaders to discuss the latest economic development efforts for Delaware County and how they can assist and promote local growth. They discussed ways to better access ARC programs in business development, job training, infrastructure and telecommunications, as well as other efforts to increase business opportunities and create jobs, and highlighted this important project. Then in August 2013, Senator Gillibrand visited SUNY Delhi with the Delaware County Chamber of Commerce and local businesses to hear first-hand about the economic development potential for the Center of Excellence in Watershed Applications and Technology-Based Economic Revitalization (COE in WATER) initiative. The COE in WATER is an innovative partnership with SUNY Delhi, the local business community, federal, state, and local governments, committed to stimulating economic development and creating jobs in rural upstate New York, while protecting the New York City watershed and addressing SUNY’s objectives for renewable energy.

“This is such a vital infrastructure project for Delaware County,” said Senator Gillibrand, who also wrote directly to ARC in support of SUNY Delhi’s proposal. “This federal funding for SUNY Delhi will help local businesses expand; and support and sustain new jobs in the area. This project is a great example of a public private partnership, how a municipality, a college, and the business community can cooperate to create new jobs while also improving the environment and providing educational programs for students. This initiative works to everyone’s benefit and could be a model for other communities that face water related challenges.”  

“This is tremendous news. Support from the Appalachian Regional Commission for the Subsurface Disposal and Irrigation Project provides the final funding required to complete a project that offers a sustainable solution to economic development and regional job creation,” said SUNY Delhi President Candace Vancko. “I also want to thank Senator Gillibrand for her tireless advocacy on behalf of the project and for her long-standing support of initiatives that support the economic and environmental needs of the watershed region,” President Vancko added. “Thanks to the efforts of Senator Gillibrand and ARC, SUNY Delhi and the COE in WATER will create a model that demonstrates how local government, higher education and private industry can partner to stimulate growth in water restricted regions in New York, the nation and around the world.

The COE in WATER project will transfer potable wastewater from the Village of Delhi wastewater treatment plant to retention ponds that will be used for storage, disposal and irrigation. This will allow an additional 200,000 gallons of water per day to be treated by the municipal plant, thereby enabling the expansion of local businesses. It is expected to expand two major businesses, create 70 new jobs and retain more than 230 jobs. SUNY Delhi will be able to expand its academic curriculum by creating a science-based, national teaching model for energy-efficient water use, irrigation applications and management practices in urban/suburban watersheds and water-restricted areas.

The Appalachian Regional Commission grants are awarded to local governments, agencies, non-profits and schools, in order to be used for economic development initiatives in the Appalachian Region.

A copy of Senator Gillibrand’s letter to ARC Federal Co-Chair, Earl Gohl, is attached.